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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
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Home  »  China Travel Guide  »  Chinese Culture  »  Chinese Handicrafts  »  
Chinese Embroidery

Embroidery is one of China's outstanding traditional crafts. Embroidery and sericulture, silk reeling are inseparable. So it is called embroidery, also known as silk embroidery. China is the oldest countries in the world to discover and use silk. In four or five thousand years ago, people had begun sericulture and silk reeling. With the emergence and development of the use of silk, silk embroidery is gradually rising.

Shanghai's Luxiang Park Gu embroidery, Beijing Phoenix embroidery were the most famous embroidery. The Gu Embroidery passed on from generation to generation and therefore it earned its fame from north to south. It was also appreciated by the royal court. Up to Qing Dynasty, the Gu embroidery’s was not only famous within the country, but also got its fame all over the world. It attracted many foreign businessmen to Shanghai.

Nowadays, Chinese embroidery is spread all over the country. Su embroidery in Suzhou, Xiang embroidery in Hunan, Shu embroidery in Sichuan and Yue embroidery in Guangdong all have their own characteristics, and they are known as China's four famous embroidery. Today’s embroidery art is much more complicated than ever. For example, the double sided embroidery “cat” is one of the representative works of Su Embroidery. Craftsmen part one embroidery tread which is merely a single hair’s thickness to one half, one fourth, one twelfth, and even one sixteenth. And hide thousands of thread residues and knots without a trace. Whether from the front or the back, you can see naughty kitten lively demeanor. To embroider a pair of cat eyes is the most difficult. Craftsmen need more than 20 kinds of embroidery threads to embroider the eyes so that it looks brimming with radiating vigor.

Four China Famous Embroideries
Four famous embroideries, referring to the country’s Su embroidery, Xiang embroidery, Yue embroidery and Shu embroidery. Embroidery which was called needlework in ancient times is cited by the color line to embroider. According to the design pattern, craftsmen needle and embroider on textile. It is a kind of handicrafts constitute of embroidered stitch patterns. Embroidery handicrafts as a geographically widespread, each country and each nation through long-term accumulation and development has its own strengths and advantages. In addition to the four famous embroidery, other embroidery in our country include Beijing embroidery, Lu embroidery, Bian embroidery, Ou embroidery, Hangzhou embroidery, Han embroidery, Min embroidery and other embroideries. China's ethnic minorities, such as Uygur, Yi, Dai, Buyi, Kazakhstan, Yao, Miao, Tujia, Jingpo, Dong, Bai, Zhuang, Mongolian, Tibetan, also have their own distinctive ethnic embroidery.

It is said that the four famous embroidery formed in mid-nineteenth century. In addition to their artistic characteristics, another important reason of its formation is commercial embroidery productions. Due to market demand and the origin of different embroidery, needlecraft as a commodity began to form their own local characteristics. And Su embroidery, Shu embroidery, Yue embroidery and Xiang embroidery product sales are particularly wide which has a large influence on Chinese culture. So, there is the saying of “four China famous embroideries.”

Su Embroidery
Su embroidery has a history of more than 2600 years. In Song Dynasty, Su embroidery had reached a large scale. There are embroidered clothes workshop, stores and alleys all over the city. In Ming Dynasty, Su embroidery has developed its own characteristic and has a wide influence on other kinds of embroideries. The Qing Dynasty is a prosperous period of Su embroidery. At that time, most of the silk embroidery works used in royal families were produced in Suzhou. There were many skillful craftsmen in folk society.

Xiang Embroidery
Xiang embroidery is a generic terms referring to embroidery works produced in Hunan. Xiang embroidery was developed on the basis of Hunan folk embroidery arts and the combination of Su embroidery and Yue embroidery. As early as Qing Dynasty, there were many women in Changsha like to do some embroidery work. The early Xiang embroidery works were mainly daily ornaments. With its development, it began to add some painting elements into its work. Xiang embroidery usually use Chinese painting as its blueprint.

Yue Embroidery
Yue embroidery is also called Guang Embroidery, referring to all the embroidery works produced in Guangdong in the late two and three century. Yue embroidery has a long history and its origin was said to be the ethnical embroidery. As early as Ming Dynasty, Yue embroidery use the feather of peacock to made tread so that the embroidery work can be more colorful. Up till Qing Dynasty, Yue embroidery had achieved greater progress. The composition of an embroidery picture is complicated but not chaotic and the stitch is well-balanced.

Shu Embroidery
Shu embroidery is also called Chuan embroidery which is a generic terms for the embroidery works produced in Chengdu. Shu embroidery also has a long history. As early as three kingdoms period, Shu embroidery had earned its fame. It was a famous as Sichuan figured satin and was seen as two treasure in Sichuan. In Qing Dynasty, Shu embroidery has developed into a large scale. There were many embroidery stores and workshops in Chengdu at that time. The characteristics of Shu embroidery are vivid and colorful, ethnical and various. 

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